Pacific Dogwood

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Marshall Dixon
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 8:58 pm
Location: SW Oregon

Pacific Dogwood

Post by Marshall Dixon »

I recently acquired a small log of fairly clear dogwood. Looking it up I see that is one of the densest North American hardwoods. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience using this wood.

Freeman Keller
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:34 am

Re: Pacific Dogwood

Post by Freeman Keller »

I had never heard of it so I entered "pacific dogwood" in the wood database and didn't get a hit. "Dogwood" itself gave me this

https://www.wood-database.com/?s=dogwood

Interesting that it says "eastern north america" - don't know where the pacific fits in. Also the database says its not very dimensionally stable and not usually used for glued or joined applications - that would scare me. Would love to see pictures.

Bob Francis
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: Pacific Dogwood

Post by Bob Francis »

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant ... llii.shtml

I don't know it is used for golf club heads. https://plants.usda.gov/java/charProfile?symbol=CONU4
Eastern Dogwood is more of a spindly small tree like a redbud. The flowers are similar but the descriptions are different.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Pacific Dogwood

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Because of it's wear resistance it was used for shuttles for weaving.
It grows naturally and also is planted as an ornamental around here (mid atlantic). flowers are white or pink (cultivar)

Marshall Dixon
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 8:58 pm
Location: SW Oregon

Re: Pacific Dogwood

Post by Marshall Dixon »

Thanks for your replies.

Freeman, I had the same question about the east/west difference. Seems that the genus is found in Asia also. Looking in the wood database suggests a similarity to the rosewoods in regard to hardness, density and stiffness.

Bob - the use for golf clubs suggests stability but I would imagine that for golf clubs it would be treated with some kind of PEG to make it water resistant.

Clay - I was thinking about the possibility of using it for friction tuning pegs. So its good to hear of it's wear resistance.

It grows abundantly around here (Southwest Oregon) and is quite a show stopper in the spring when it blooms.This log I have was 50" long by 7-9" diameter. I cut it into two pieces; 20" and 30". It lools pretty tight grained, but thats judging from a chain saw cut. I thjought about using it for back/sides, fingerboards, or wherever you'd want a hard wood. But it's white. Or maybe butter colored after aging. Dying it would have to be considered and that kind of thing can end up all over the map. But I think it could be used for bindings and tuning pegs in the natural.

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Steve Sawyer
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Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Pacific Dogwood

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Cornus Nuttallii is the botanical name. Only info I could find was on this site for all dogwoods (species Cornus)

http://hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/dogwood.htm
==Steve==

Marshall Dixon
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 8:58 pm
Location: SW Oregon

Re: Pacific Dogwood

Post by Marshall Dixon »

Thanks for that link Steve. This stuff looks promising. For something! It's a fresh cut piece so I'll have some time to think about what while it seasons..

David King
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Re: Pacific Dogwood

Post by David King »

It seems like useful stuff to have around. It had uses in bow (& arrow) making and piano keys beside the weaving shuttles. Looks to me a little like Euro beech in the photos.

Alan Carruth
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Re: Pacific Dogwood

Post by Alan Carruth »

The use for golf club heads implies a combination of toughness and hardness. That's certainly characteristic of persimmon. Elm is similarly tough, but not as hard, and I have not heard of is being used for golf clubs. At any rate, wooden club heads seem to be a thing of the past.

I've got some small pieces of local dogwood, and it is quite hard and tight grained. It's white, or maybe slightly pink, and doesn't take stain well, so all I've ever used it for is inlays. I quartered the small log (4" or so in diameter) on the band saw when it came in dead green, removed the bark, and painted the ends with some latex paint. It dried without any incidents, but shrank a lot radially: the original 90 degree angles are now closer to 85, and the formerly flat surfaces off the saw are slightly concave. Still, I have not run into any honeycomb checking when I've opened one up. It seems to be one of those woods, like osage orange and BRW, that can undergo a lot of degrade in drying, but once seasoned are stable enough in use. I'd avoid using pieces that had a lot of curvature in the ring lines on the end grain though: why take chances.

Marshall Dixon
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 8:58 pm
Location: SW Oregon

Re: Pacific Dogwood

Post by Marshall Dixon »

David, I've heard of Osage Orange and Yew for bows. I read the book "Ishi" and how he selected his wood for bows. He was from the Mt. lassen area and I think Yew was his preferred wood.

Alan, I thought about dying it for fingerboards. Either that or make an albino guitar. Just read an article in Fine Woodworking about dying wood black. It involved 3 buckets of lacquer thinner and that put a stop to that!

I was wondering if adding a water soluble analone dye to a PEG compound would take the dye intracellular and color it through and through. For a fingerboard where it probably wouldn't matter. I've got some old antifreeze that apparently is obsolete for my car. May try some experimentation...

Bob Howell
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Pacific Dogwood

Post by Bob Howell »

I have dried out a lot of dogwood over the years. Dried, it is Used it for guts and mauls, splitting oak for chairs. Some has beautiful spalt patterns and I turn dry and often green for bowls. Splits very often and thrown in kindling pile.

I cut a 24" long section of 5-6' log, seal ends, saw in half on BS, and dry for a year. Still might have splits but usable. You will be very lucky to get a fret board out of it.

Once dried, it is very hard and split resistant but still prone to warp. Charming grain when quarter sawn. I have cut a lot into 3/8" wood to make boxes but splits limit usefulness.

It is very common around Atlanta. We even have a dogwood festival yearly in spring.

Marshall Dixon
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 8:58 pm
Location: SW Oregon

Re: Pacific Dogwood

Post by Marshall Dixon »

Thank you for the information Bob. Makes most sense to try using it for light colored bindings where I can probably find enough unchecked material.

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